Hershey Week 9 Recap: Starting On Time

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Posted December 11, 2017

Travis Boyd (Scott Payonk)

Hershey struggled in the first period in each of their three games this weekend, getting outshot 37-16 combined against Lehigh Valley and Wilkes-Barre/Scranton.

In their lone victory of the weekend — home against Lehigh Saturday night — Hershey scored on their first power play and could not get a shot on goal the rest of the opening 20 minutes.

Prior to the week, the Capitals re-assigned Travis Boyd and Tyler Graovac. Graovac scored twice on the weekend, while Boyd had a quiet weekend with no points.

The Phantoms held off a furious rally from the Bears in Allentown, clinging to a 5-4 win on Friday night. In a normally fiesty rivalry, the Bears (two) and Phantoms (three) combined for five penalties the whole game. Neither team scored on the power play.

John Albert had the earliest of Hershey’s goal, with three minutes left in the first period.

Pheonix Copley got the hook after Lehigh Valley’s third goal, bringing in Vitek Vanecek to finish the game. Vanecek allowed two goals on 12 shots in his abbreviated play, but took the loss because he allowed the game-winner.

Greg Carey scored what proved to be the game-winner 84 seconds into the third. 20 seconds later, Lucas Johansen scored his fourth of the year to start the rally.

Hershey outshot Lehigh Valley 10-6 in the frame, adding goals from Mathias Bau and Aaron Ness. The extra-attacker push was not enough, as Lehigh Valley got their fourth win over Hershey this season.

The next night, an early Johansen power play goal set the Bears on the road to a 4-2 victory.

Vanecek made the start, turning aside 24 of 26 shots for his third consecutive win in starts. He held the Bears in the contest with a breakaway save on AHL-leading scorer Danick Martel in the first.

Chris Bourque added his team-best 11th goal of the year in the second period, swatting at a puck in mid-air to hit it past Dustin Tokarski.

Garrett Mitchell and Graovac cancelled out goals from the Phantoms to keep the two-goal margin safe.

A comeback was not in the cards against the Penguins, and the Bears fell behind fast. A three-goal first was all Wilkes-Barre/Scranton needed to secure their third win over the Bears, a 4-1 final.

Former Bear Christian Thomas, Daniel Sprong, and Capitals draft pick who never signed Thomas DiPauli scored for the Penguins in the opening 13 minutes. Wilkes-Barre putshot Hershey 15-4 in the first period, with the Bears getting their fourth shot to go through thanks to Graovac.

Copley made 23 saves in total, stopping all but one shot he faced after the DiPauli goal.

NEXT WEEK

The seven-wins-in-a-row Providence Bruins are up against the Bears Wednesday and Saturday night at Giant Center. At the same time, the Boston Bruins host the Washington Capitals Thursday night.

CURRENT STANDINGS

6th in Atlantic Division, 12-12-0-3 (W-L-OTL-SOL), .500 points percentage, 27 points